By PETE JOHNSON
They say the best way to learn is through our mistakes. At Get Practice Growth, we’re omitting that first step and providing you with a rundown of common errors made on dental websites.
With updated algorithms, technological advancements, and changing consumer mindsets, many strategies are now obsolete. While looking ahead, it’s important to check in on current and past strategies and assess their importance.
We’ve rounded up a few common mistakes so you can skip them.
Using Stock Imagery
Stock websites offer an easy solution when sourcing imagery. Due to their convenience, it’s not uncommon to see the same pictures on different dental websites. The easiest way to set yourself apart from other competing practices is to capture authentic images. Real patients, real smiles, and real dentists go a long way when aiming for conversions. Not only is it more visually appealing, but custom photos instill a sense of trust in users. It fosters a stronger connection that can only be established by a sense of authenticity. When it comes to dentistry, the most important asset a practice can have is trust. Therefore, don’t let generic stock images be the face of your brand. Sport the personality of your practice and you’ll be creating lasting relationships in no time.
Did you know that 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device? Consumers now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones. Therefore, if your website is not optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on a majority of online activity. Additionally, Google knows what their users want. Therefore, the search engine prioritizes mobile-friendly devices. So, if you’re not optimized, your ranking could plummet. Patients want their practice to be modern and up-to-date. This may mostly apply to services, but they will feel that same sense of relief and trust if your website is current as well.
Users should be able to view your website from any device or operating system. When working with a website designer, be sure to view it on phones and tablets to make sure it is as intuitive as possible. Most importantly, make sure your contact page is easy to find so visitors won’t be inclined to bounce away.
A Counterintuitive Dental Website
If a website is difficult to navigate, your bounce rate is guaranteed to skyrocket. Users no longer have patience for poorly designed websites with tricky navigation. Therefore, the first sign of difficulty will just direct them to the next website in their search engine results page. Therefore, make their experience as seamless as possible and outline a simple journey. We recommend a header with all of your services in their appropriate categories, as this is one of the first things your users will search for. People are also used to scrolling down to a footer to access contact information. Your footer should link to your site’s most important pages or a contact form. It’s also wise to offer multiple entry points to your contact page, so users will be reminded to reach out at multiple stages of their visit.
A Lack of Video
Video has been at the tip of every marketer’s tongue for quite some time now. It’s no secret that quality videos stop users in their tracks more than any other form of content. In the dental field, there are a plethora of types of videos to utilize. Explanations of procedures are informative and easy to absorb. Not only are they attention grabbing, but they allow dentists to position themselves as credible voices, instilling trust in users. Another type of video to utilize is a general practice video that details your history, mission, and why you love what you do. This type of video appeals to emotion, and enhances the aforementioned trust that is so critical. Finally, patient testimonials seal the deal when it comes to conversions. Real patients with real results are likely to sway decisions.
Google now prioritizes websites with quality videos. The search engine is smarter than ever and loves to give users exactly what they want. Therefore, by incorporating video you’re not only appealing to potential patients but also to the search engine’s standards.
Branding is synonymous with personality. When you lack effective branding, you also lack character. A solid brand strategy improves recognition, supports marketing efforts, motivates employees, and instills emotion. When you introduce an original aesthetic and a voice that is reflective of your mission, you’re more likely to be memorable. Cookie cutter layouts and monotonous messages will only make you fall in line with other practices. By maintaining consistency in your originality, you’re bound to be remembered. A brand strategy and outline will also assist in your future marketing endeavors. When working off of a template, stylistic choices will be streamlined and easier to implement.
Utilizing Out-Of-Date Dental SEO Strategies
SEO is constantly evolving. As users become more savvy, Google and other search engines adjust their algorithms to serve the public the best results for their queries. If you’re not up-to-date on Google’s ranking factors, you run the risk of falling in search results.
Google recently released a new requirement that websites be secure. What does this mean? Essentially, Google is making a push to secure and encrypt the Internet. An SSL certificate with an address beginning with ‘https’ is now required. If your site is not yet secured, make this a priority in order to remain relevant in the eyes of Google.
Another recent SEO trend is the rise of “zero-click searches”. Due to SERP features including snippets, Google’s local packs, and knowledge graphs, users no longer have to click links to find answers to their questions. These features display answers on the results page, which means you don’t have to click a link to find the information they seek. This may sound worrisome, as the purpose of SEO is attracting clicks. Before you ring the alarm, there are strategies to curtail this development. First, it’s important to identify which keywords attract visits. Prioritize searches that lead users to your website rather than those that end on the SERPS page. Additionally, it’s important to do all you can to land that coveted spot as a featured snippet. To do this, make sure to optimize your content for relevant searches and structure your data to be compatible with the rich and featured snippets format.
Using Minimal or Duplicate Content
When crafting copy for a website, it’s important to include ample content for Google to crawl. Many websites make the mistake of letting their images do the talking for them. Google still utilizes the written word to match its search queries to your website. With the rise of voice search, long-tail keywords have increased in relevance. Therefore, it’s important to craft your copy in a conversational way that answers questions naturally. Plugging keywords into headers may have been sufficient in the past, but nowadays, your copy has to speak to the needs of your users. While implementing this, keep in mind that Google values quality and quantity. Therefore, integrating wordy sentences with minimal substance could also be detrimental to your website.
Minimal content may be bad, but duplicate content is even worse. Duplicate content is copy that appears in more than one place on the Internet. Duplicate content can be considered plagiarism, but can also simply be content that is “appreciably similar” according to Google. While you may not be stealing copy from other websites, you could still be creating duplicate content if your writing is unoriginal. Therefore, be sure to use your distinct voice and include personality in your text. Not only will your users appreciate it, but search engines will reward you as well.
These are just a few common mistakes to avoid when developing your dental website. At Get Practice Growth, the do’s and don’ts of dental marketing is our speciality. If you would like to learn more, contact us today to arrange a consultation.